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The Story of Holi

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The demon king decided to try his sister's plan. He ordered a great fire to be lit in the middle of the palace courtyard. Holika climbed into the blaze with Prahlad in her arms, and held him in the fire. But after the great flames had died down, the demon king and his attendants saw the little boy sitting serenely among the ashes. Of Holika there was nothing left.

Hiranyakashyap's anger threatened to destroy the world. In frustration he had Prahlad bound in chains and thrown into the sea, where great rocks were piled on him so that he could not escape. Prahlad lay quietly at the bottom of the sea, thinking only of Vishnu. As he did so, his chains snapped, the rocks dissolved, and Prahlad rose to the surface and walked to his father's palace.

Hiranyakashyap was furious when he saw Prahlad return alive. Once again he ordered him to give up the worship of Vishnu. But Prahlad refused. 'Who is Vishnu? Where is Vishnu?' demanded the king in anger. 'You say he is everywhere. Is he in this pillar of stone in my palace?' And Hiranyakashyap struck the stone pillar with the palm of his hand.

At once the pillar broke and fell, and from it emerged a fearsome creature, half man and half lion. This was Vishnu, in the form of Narsimha or Man-Lion. The demons in the court of Hiranyakashyap ran away in fright. But Hiranyakashyap only laughed. He felt immortal, he had no fear. He rushed at the Narsimha, who caught him in his hundred arms, and dragging him to the threshold of his palace, ripped him into a hundred pieces with his claws.


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fables   folktales   fairytales   myths   festival stories   tales from history   classics retold   science fiction and fantasy   stories behind great discoveries   tales behind nursery rhymes   puzzles   short stories by Rohini Chowdhury   blog archives from Around the Fireplace by Rohini Chowdhury   reviews of children's books   writers' biographies   other writings by Rohini Chowdhury   books by Rohini Chowdhury  


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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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